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Dust on the mirror

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I’m wondering, is this article good Buddhism? 
 

“No Mind” is Buddha

 

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What exactly is this No Mind that we are talking about? Let’s use a mirror as an analogy, since the mirror is often used in Buddhism when explaining fundamental Mind, fundamental nature, original face. Think of delusions as dust, and No Mind as the natural state of the mirror. That state―a spotless mirror―is Buddha nature, fundamental nature, original face. If you dust off the mirror, you have this natural state.

In this natural state, a mirror is indescribably clear and bright, and it reflects great light. Our fundamental nature is the same way. If all delusions are swept away, right down to the Alayavijnana, then a huge, all-pervading light appears like the sun appearing out of the clouds. And when we rid ourselves of all delusions, the light of great wisdom appears and reflects into the Dharma realm of the ten directions, the entire universe. In Buddhism we refer to this as tranquil light or brilliance. At Haein-sa, the main Buddha Hall is called “Great Tranquil Brilliance Hall,” which means a place where Buddha resides.
So this No Mind is not a state of emptiness, void, blankness or vacuity. It is this state of complete elimination of all delusion, a state of perfect, quiet brilliance. Contrary to common misunderstanding, it is not a state of abso lute thoughtlessness, like a boulder. The Chinese characters are those for “No Mind” but it is not a state of no mind, or blank mind. If is a state of no delusions, a mirror free of dust, the state where this brilliant light of wisdom pervades everything.
...

 

Personally I like dust as an analogy for what obscures our highest nature in our minds, on an almost organic level I think our consciousness hasn’t inhabited the head chakras in such a long time that the equivalent of dust has built up there, but that’s just my take on it of course. I’m not sure the dust is ‘delusions’, maybe. I’d be interested in other people’s concepts of dust :) 


 

 

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33 minutes ago, Bindi said:

“No Mind” but it is not a state of no mind, or blank mind. If is a state of no delusions, a mirror free of dust, the state where this brilliant light of wisdom pervades everything.

 

Thinking and awareness are mutually exclusive.  Wisdom comes from awareness, not thinking.

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53 minutes ago, Bindi said:

I’m wondering, is this article good Buddhism? 
 

“No Mind” is Buddha

 

 

Personally I like dust as an analogy for what obscures our highest nature in our minds, on an almost organic level I think our consciousness hasn’t inhabited the head chakras in such a long time that the equivalent of dust has built up there, but that’s just my take on it of course. I’m not sure the dust is ‘delusions’, maybe. I’d be interested in other people’s concepts of dust :) 


 

 

 

If it’s anything like the shit I smoked in the ‘70’s, I want nothin to do with it!

 

🤯

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I see there is a very early reference to dust, from the Ayacana Sutta: The Request -

 

“Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.”


“...surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, the Blessed One saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world.”

 

In this sutra the dust stops people from seeing clearly, from awakened seeing. Old mental habits maybe. Mental obscurations that have been there for ages. 
 

Is this dust also (from the Lankavatara sutra) the “habit energy [or memory] which has been accumulated by erroneous reasoning since beginningless time.” 


Seeing the dust, I have a chance to remove it. Not seeing it, erroneous reasoning can even erroneously reason that there isn’t even any dust. 

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21 hours ago, Starjumper said:

 

Thinking and awareness are mutually exclusive.  Wisdom comes from awareness, not thinking.


What if awareness is filtered through the mind. Awareness being taken as always clear, but passing through the mind it is distorted because of the dust lying there. Like our senses are filtered through the mind, inescapably, same with our pure awareness. Inextricably linked. 

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Ime pure awareness is apart from the senses. The seat of pure awareness resides in the heartmind, but for most, is cultivated with the aid of the intellect and the other 5 senses. A small number, by virtue of the ripening of past karma, bypasses this stage. 

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Lin Jensen on Tricycle: 

 

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Were “heartmind” a word in the English lexicon, it would be designated as a noun, but in its origin it’s both noun and verb, and the Chinese, who make no distinction between what you are and what you do, would never understand the separation of the two. What you are is what you do, what you do is what you are. Heartmind is simultaneously both being and doing, an inherent coupling that arises on its own volition and does so everywhere and at all times.

 

The renowned 20th-century Soto Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki put it this way: “When everything exists within your big mind (*Japanese for heartmind), all dualistic relationships drop away. There is no distinction between heaven and earth, man and woman, teacher and disciple. Sometimes a man bows to a woman, sometimes a woman bows to a man. Sometimes the disciple bows to the master, sometimes the master bows to the disciple. . . . Sometimes we may bow to cats and dogs.” Dualistic relationships drop away, because without duality, there are no relationships to compare and all bowings are of a single nature.

 

 

In the suttas, heartmind comes very close to the Sanskrit term, Citta. In all the discourses and the different yanas, This Citta is used interchangeably to mean "heart", "consciousness", and "mind". In Tibetan Buddhism, bodhicitta is sometimes translated as, "The heart that intrinsically knows goodness" or, "The primordially enlightened pure mind", and in some other Tibetan schools, its frequently alluded to the phrase, "The heart of enlightened mind", which may sound quite vague and confusing to those unfamiliar with the concept. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/17/2020 at 9:44 PM, Bindi said:

I’m wondering, is this article good Buddhism? 
 

“No Mind” is Buddha

 

 

Personally I like dust as an analogy for what obscures our highest nature in our minds, on an almost organic level I think our consciousness hasn’t inhabited the head chakras in such a long time that the equivalent of dust has built up there, but that’s just my take on it of course. I’m not sure the dust is ‘delusions’, maybe. I’d be interested in other people’s concepts of dust :) 


 

 

 

Another important principle is that of Emptiness which means that there is no mirror, or mirror stand depending on the version, so where could dust collect?

This is a very famous quote from a poem by Hui Neng the 6th Patriarch of Chan Buddhism.

I'd suggest you read that if you like the dust analogy.

 

Here is one version, there may be better - 

http://sped2work.tripod.com/huineng.html

Edited by steve
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Bindi said:

What if awareness is filtered through the mind. Awareness being taken as always clear, but passing through the mind it is distorted because of the dust lying there. Like our senses are filtered through the mind, inescapably, same with our pure awareness. Inextricably linked. 

 

It depends on whether or not a person has achieved clarity.  Clarity is something that happens after a person has established non thinking during day to day activities, which can happen after the enlightenment experience.  That's Taoism though, your mileage may vary.  i could comment on what 'dust' means to me as a Taoist, but this, after all, is a Buddhist forum.

 

Edited by Starjumper
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Posted (edited)
On 19/03/2020 at 10:58 AM, C T said:

Ime pure awareness is apart from the senses. The seat of pure awareness resides in the heartmind, but for most, is cultivated with the aid of the intellect and the other 5 senses. A small number, by virtue of the ripening of past karma, bypasses this stage. 


I came across the Tibetan Buddhist idea of removing mental and emotional obstructions recently, which leads to the direct experience of our true nature. Perhaps some can bypass this work, but certainly I’m not one of them, and as such there is mud and dust to remove as far as I can see. 

On the issue of the minds relationship to awareness:

 

Quote

 

While karmic wind represents the mind, wisdom wind represents the mind’s nature, the reality in which the subject-object duality is absent and objectifying thoughts cease. The mind’s nature is characterised by bliss, clarity, and nonthought. 

...

In fact, the wisdom wind and the karmic wind are the same thing. If this wind is brought under control, it engenders wisdom; if it is not controlled, it gives rise to the ordinary mind, together with its poisons. Thus the most important thing, at the perfection stage [of Tantric practice], is to work effectively on the wind… If, as a result, one attains mastery of the essence-drop [thig le, Sanskrit bindu], the mind, which is supported by it, will also cease to move, thereby giving rise to the experiences of bliss, clarity, and nonthought.


from Secret map of the body compiled by Gyalwa Yangönpa

 

 


Reading this quote carefully, I can see that wisdom wind and karmic wind are differentiated, my lack of understanding on this issue is surely because karmic wind still dominates my mind and I haven’t experienced the nature of wisdom wind yet. Nonetheless I see the need for cleaning away ‘dust’ at the stage I’m at. 

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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6 hours ago, steve said:

 

Another important principle is that of Emptiness which means that there is no mirror, or mirror stand depending on the version, so where could dust collect?

This is a very famous quote from a poem by Hui Neng the 6th Patriarch of Chan Buddhism.

I'd suggest you read that if you like the dust analogy.

 

Here is one version, there may be better - 

http://sped2work.tripod.com/huineng.html


Thanks Steve, I have come across this before, I don’t resonate with the concept though, as emotional and mental obstructions are quite real for me, and I’m happier working on them as my way through than thinking neither dust nor the potential ‘awakened mind’ beneath it even exist. 
 

 

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6 hours ago, Starjumper said:

 

It depends on whether or not a person has achieved clarity.  Clarity is something that happens after a person has established non thinking during day to day activities, which can happen after the enlightenment experience.  That's Taoism though, your mileage may vary.  i could comment on what 'dust' means to me as a Taoist, but this, after all, is a Buddhist forum.

 


Yes I shouldn’t have put it in the Buddhist forum really, it’s only that my first quote was Buddhist. I’d be interested in hearing what dust means to you. 
 

Thinking about it for a few days I have more of an idea of what it might mean to me, but it’s a pretty out there explanation which I might just keep to myself for now 🙃

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6 hours ago, Bindi said:


Thanks Steve, I have come across this before, I don’t resonate with the concept though, as emotional and mental obstructions are quite real for me, and I’m happier working on them as my way through than thinking neither dust nor the potential ‘awakened mind’ beneath it even exist. 
 

 

 

Yes, they're quite real for nearly everyone. 

I work on them too.

I shared this for two reasons -

First, because you asked about whether the article is a good one re Buddhism.

If we don't include some discussion of emptiness, we're leaving out an important part.

Secondly, because emptiness is best looked at as a practical instruction, not a theory or philosophy.

It refers to the fact that so many of our day to day problems are created in the mind.

The one experiencing and creating these problems is not as solid and independent as it seems.

It is a construct which arises in relationship to others and to situations.

The current pandemic is a very powerful illustration of this interdependence.

As such, there is a possibility of seeing our problems as less tangible, less substantial, making it a bit easier to deal with them effectively.

While it may not resonate with you, it may with others so I thought it worth sharing.

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

Take good care.

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12 hours ago, Starjumper said:

 

It depends on whether or not a person has achieved clarity.  Clarity is something that happens after a person has established non thinking during day to day activities, which can happen after the enlightenment experience.  That's Taoism though, your mileage may vary.  i could comment on what 'dust' means to me as a Taoist, but this, after all, is a Buddhist forum.

 

 

All are welcome to comment AFAIC, be they Buddhist, Daoist, or Pastafarian.

 

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Posted (edited)

The Buddhist path, being essentially pathless at its core, can only enhance whatsoever system or personal path one has chosen. 

 

The Buddha never proclaimed his is the only way. On the contrary, he cajoled and encouraged all to carve their own path, and once the foundations are laid, to doggedly follow that thru to the end. Should obstacles arise, he skilfully presented the logic behind the understanding why they occur, why they remain, and the ways to circumvent them effectively. Basically the Buddha dangled an open invitation to anyone to test if those concepts work. If found to be lacking, simply lay them aside for good, or come back to them later. 

It cannot be simpler. 

 

Steve said it well - all commenters are welcome here. 

Edited by C T
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8 hours ago, Bindi said:


I came across the Tibetan Buddhist idea of removing mental and emotional obstructions recently, which leads to the direct experience of our true nature. Perhaps some can bypass this work, but certainly I’m not one of them, and as such there is mud and dust to remove as far as I can see. 
 

 

 

Tibetan Buddhism posits the idea that practitioners all have differing capacities to grok the Dharma. For some, the above approach can be a very useful exercise towards brightening the mirror, albeit one that requires quite laborious effort, and is mostly suited to those whom the Dalai Lama refers to as possessing 'small capacities' (also middling- and supreme-) but this should not be interpreted as any sort of denigration; Rather, it is an acknowledgement that some practitioners prefer a safer approach in order to develop a surer footing, and do not mind if this approach requires more time to complete, and in this context, small refers to the scope that these practitioners have opted for in order to build a solid foundation. Even highly realised adepts return to this scope frequently to check their attainments have not deviated from the essentials. 

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I've become rather fascinated with the term citta in recent years and its various translations... in my personal experience, citta is central to my process which sort of follows

 

 

cleanse citta

cease feeding and identifying with the storyteller

abide in presence

in raw being

 

clarity

emptiness

bliss

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17 hours ago, Bindi said:

I came across the Tibetan Buddhist idea of removing mental and emotional obstructions recently, which leads to the direct experience of our true nature. Perhaps some can bypass this work, but certainly I’m not one of them, and as such there is mud and dust to remove as far as I can see. 

 

On the alchemical path the mud and dust are the primary materials for the inner work.   For me, it's not about removing mental and emotional obstructions, or at least it's not about viewing them solely as obstructions.  Rather, they have a dual nature. Viewed with acceptance they are my personal gateways into the Self. Within me their nature has slowly transmuted over time with a combination of xing and ming cultivation......Decades of inner work....Of always failing when operating with my ego in charge....Trial and error....Patience and humility.....A slow surrender to the wisdom of Spirit, of mind of Dao, of God.  (I write as someone who's very much a work in progress. I relate to this motto from Western alchemy: "A warring peace, a sweet wound, a mild evil.") 

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18 hours ago, Bindi said:

Yes I shouldn’t have put it in the Buddhist forum really, it’s only that my first quote was Buddhist. I’d be interested in hearing what dust means to you. 

 

When we look out at the world we are really looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves.  If there is no dust on the mirror then we can see ourselves more clearly.

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11 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

 

When we look out at the world we are really looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves.  If there is no dust on the mirror then we can see ourselves more clearly.

 

A lot of Buddhism in those words.... be careful!

 

:lol:

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On the dzogchen path, the dust is taken as the very path itself.

It is precisely the stuff we need to "work" with but it is the work of 'no-work.'

As challenges come up we make no effort to push them away or change them. We simply acknowledge their presence, leave it as it is, and rest more deeply into the space and awareness of being. If we are connected to the source, the issues will self-liberate. Just like with wei wu wei, leaving it as it is does not mean to do nothing. It means to allow the right action, if any, to arise spontaneously from openness, from getting out of the way and allowing the movement and intelligence of the Way to reveal itself in its own way and its own time. 

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To me, as far as I can understand it today, dust has to do with thoughts. Once for a couple of days many years ago the backlog of my thoughts, and each new repetition, disappeared and any new thought fell away so it was very peaceful in my mind, it was a great relief, but after a couple of days I noticed thoughts started getting stuck again, falling onto a floor and starting to pile up. I thought of them then like leaves falling to the ground, when I could see them individually falling and starting to pile up, but piled ever higher over the ensuing years I think this is the dust.
 

So I wonder if the problem isn’t in having thoughts, but in them not falling away freely, and to fall away freely somehow the floor might have to be removed, permanently. And I think this might be possible, working my way with wind and consciousness through the emotional and mental subtle channels, which is an unfolding process. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Bindi said:

To me, as far as I can understand it today, dust has to do with thoughts. Once for a couple of days many years ago the backlog of my thoughts, and each new repetition, disappeared and any new thought fell away so it was very peaceful in my mind, it was a great relief, but after a couple of days I noticed thoughts started getting stuck again, falling onto a floor and starting to pile up. I thought of them then like leaves falling to the ground, when I could see them individually falling and starting to pile up, but piled ever higher over the ensuing years I think this is the dust.
 

So I wonder if the problem isn’t in having thoughts, but in them not falling away freely, and to fall away freely somehow the floor might have to be removed, permanently. And I think this might be possible, working my way with wind and consciousness through the emotional and mental subtle channels, which is an unfolding process. 
 

 

 

Precisely!

 

Not only thoughts, also images, emotions, memories, reactions to stimuli like physical discomfort, anything. 

 

When “resting in the nature of mind” all of that comes up, hovers there without creating any disturbance, and simply dissolves back to where they came. It’s often described as... thought come from Nature (of Mind), into Nature, and dissolve back to Nature. If we don’t grasp (push, pull, or hold) they’re like paint tossed into the air, no where to stay.

 

Edit - that’s the functional meaning of emptiness for the practitioner

Edited by steve
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9 hours ago, steve said:

 

Precisely!

 

Not only thoughts, also images, emotions, memories, reactions to stimuli like physical discomfort, anything. 

 

When “resting in the nature of mind” all of that comes up, hovers there without creating any disturbance, and simply dissolves back to where they came. It’s often described as... thought come from Nature (of Mind), into Nature, and dissolve back to Nature. If we don’t grasp (push, pull, or hold) they’re like paint tossed into the air, no where to stay.

 

Edit - that’s the functional meaning of emptiness for the practitioner


And yet... I’ve been reading up on all things Buddhist this weekend, including Buddhist psychology and Buddhist Tantra. 
 

From what I can gather from Buddhist psychology, Buddhism doesn’t aim to remove the backlog, and doesn’t claim to deliver mental health in the western sense, for example people on antidepressants are advised to stay on them, and people practicing for many years can still be anxious and depressed. This is relevant if dust is basically the backlog, and dust is what I’m interested in removing. 

 

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